Pfcs. Katie Gorz, Julia Carroll, Christina Fuentes Montenegro made history today as the first entry-level enlisted women to graduate from the Marine Corps infantry training course.
The three were part of a group of 15 women who volunteered and qualified for the training that that began Sept. 24th, according to the Marine Times.
A fourth woman finished the course, but was injured and couldn’t pass the required combat fitness test. She will be allowed to graduate once she heals and passes that test.
The women went through the same physically grueling exercises as the male Marines, including carry 90 pounds of combat gear on a 12.5-mile march, according to Capt. Maureen Krebs, a Marine Corps spokeswoman.
They also had to perform three pull ups, just as the men did. For ordinary Marine Corps physical fitness tests, women can choose either the pull up or something called a “flex arm hang.”
This is part of Marine Corps research regarding the capability of women to serve in infantry units. Since last year, 10 women officers have entered Marine infantry officer training at Marine Base Quantico, Virginia. So far none of the officers have completed that course.
However, the women who passed the enlisted course will not join infantry units. They instead will be sent to non-combat jobs throughout the Corps.
Their 59 days of arduous work will instead become part of the Marine Corps ongoing research into the possibility of having women serve in combat.
CNN contributed to this report.